Steve Irwin cartoon welcoming lost Australian wildlife to heaven touches the world

The cartoon has been widely shared on social media.
The cartoon has been widely shared on social media. Photo credit: Sketchy Koala

A heartbreaking cartoon of the late conservationist Steve Irwin welcoming Australia's lost wildlife to heaven has broken hearts around the world. 

The Australian TV personality, who died from a stingray attack in 2006, hosted a number of popular wildlife documentary series and co-owned Australia Zoo, a Queensland landmark.

The cartoon, created by an artist dubbed Sketchy Koala, has been widely shared on social media as Australia's bushfires continue to ravage the country, with new estimates predicting roughly 1 billion animals have been killed by the flames.

"When animals die, they cross over via the #RainbowBridge. On the other side of the rainbow in Australia, awaits Steve Irwin. RIP to all the wildlife & domestic animals, & to the working dogs who refused to abandon their herds. #AustralianFires," one Twitter user captioned the cartoon.

"Don't worry little guys! I'll take care of you!" cartoon Irwin says as he kneels and holds his arms out to kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, small birds and emus.

"Okay this has made me cry," one person responded.

"Legit teared up," another said.

"Our childhood favourite wildlife warrior Steve Irwin is definitely taking care of them."

More than 20 people have been killed by the devastating fires, with roughly 2000 properties destroyed. The flames have burned through around eight million hectares of land.